Since 1984 ACE Radio Broadcasters has been at the forefront of regional Victorian radio. Owned by Rowly and Judy Paterson, who are themselves regionally based.
The company has grown over the years to include 21 radio stations, The Weekly Advertiser newspaper, ACE Digital and ACE Direct Sales, employing over 200 people across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Associated Communication Enterprises (ACE) already involved in publishing, purchases 3HA from 3UZ (now Sport 927). Stephen Everett, already working in ACE joins the Board to run 3HA. Geoff Tuckett was the General Manager of 3HA. Mark Day, part owner of ACE, invites Geoff Handbury to join the Board as a non shareholding director.
3CS purchased from a group of investors to form the beginning of the Network.
3SH and 3WM purchased from Colin Cameron as a joint buy.
ACE buys into Bay FM in Geelong, Sun FM and 3SR in Shepparton and 2WL (later to become Wave FM) in Wollongong. Geoff and Helen Handbury begin to take an equity position in the Victorian stations starting at 5% and by 1994 it had grown to 50%.
Geoff and Helen Handbury acquire the remaining 50% of ACE Radio giving them 100% of the company. During the following year the minority position held in Sun FM and 3SR is sold and an offer from Grant Broadcasters for the 50% holding in Bay FM is accepted.
ACE Radio acquires 3TR from Southern Cross in order to have an Eastern Victorian presence. ACE Radio also acquires 3YB from two private shareholders and simultaneously Rowly and Judy Paterson become 50% shareholders with Geoff and Helen Handbury with both families now owning 100% of the company. Part of the strategy in acquiring 3YB was to ensure a smooth path for the eventual commencement of both FM stations in Hamilton and Warrnambool.
Mixx FM begins broadcasting in Horsham, our first FM radio station. Mixx FM begins broadcasting in Swan Hill. Mixx FM begins broadcasting in Colac.Mixx FM Horsham begins re-broadcasting on a separate frequency in Ararat.
Mixx FM Swan Hill begins re-broadcasting on a separate frequency in Kerang. Weekly Advertiser newspaper begins publishing in Horsham, distributing throughout the Wimmera Grampians area.
Mixx FM Colac begins re-broadcasting into Apollo Bay. Mixx FM Colac begins re-broadcasting into Lorne. 3TR becomes 3TRFM and 3TR is re-named 3GV, broadcasting into Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley. TRFM begins broadcasting into Bairnsdale/Lakes Entrance. Coast FM commences in Warrnambool. Mixx FM commences in Hamilton.
Mixx FM Hamilton begins re-broadcasting into Portland. ACE Radio acquires the Melbourne Radio School from Gary Mac.
Mixx FM begins broadcasting in Kaniva.
ACE Radio acquires 2AY in Albury.
3GV changes name and format to GOLD 1242.
The RRSA (Regional Radio Sales Australia) commenced as a new national and direct revenue stream.
Melbourne Radio School becomes Radio Training Institute.
3HA begins broadcasting into Portland on the FM band.
In the previous year, Stephen Everett, having served as Managing Director for over 20 years, announces his intention to retire.
Following an Australia-wide search for his replacement and interviews with numerous candidates, the Chairman announced in September that Mark Taylor, currently the Group Program Manager and General Manager of 2AY Albury, is to be appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the ACE Radio Network. Simultaneously, Daryl Foster is promoted from Group Management Accountant to the new role of Chief Financial Officer.
ACE Radio aquired two new markets (Deniliquin and Wangaratta) to add to their portfolio, reaching the areas of North East Victoria and Southern New South Wales. Adding two AM stations (2QN and 3NE) and two FM stations (102.5 Edge FM and 102.1 Edge FM)
ACE Radio acquires 1377 Easy music 3MP in the Melbourne market.
ACE Radio took over control of three additional Metro stations. Magic 1278 in Melbourne, 2UE in Sydney and 4BH in Brisbane.